Slavery has been outlawed in most arab countries for years now but there are villages in jordan made up entirely of descendants of runaway Saudi slaves. Abdulrahman knows he might be free, but hes still an arab. No one ever wants to be the arab - its too old and too tragic, too mysterious and too exasperating, and too lonely for anyone but an actual arab to put up with for very long. Essentially, its an image problem. Ask anyone, Persian, Turks, even Lebanese and Egyptians - none of them want to be the arab. They say things like, well, really we're indo-russian-asian european- chaldeans, so in the end the only one who gets to be the arab is the same little old bedouin with his goats and his sheep and his poetry about his goats and his sheep, because he doesnt know that he's the arab, and what he doesnt know wont hurt him.
The participation if women in some armies in the world is in reality only symbolic. The talk about the role of Zionist women in fighting with the combat units of the enemy in the war of 5 June 1967 was intended more as propaganda than anything real or substantial. It was calculated to intensify and compound the adverse psychological effects of the war by exploiting the backward outlook of large sections of Arab society and their role in the community. The intention was to achieve adverse psychological effects by saying to Arabs that they were defeated, in 1967, by women.
By the time of the arrival of Islam in the early seventeenth century CE, what we now call the Middle East was divided between the Persian and Byzantine empires. But with the spread of this new religion from Arabia, a powerful empire emerged, and with it a flourishing civilization and a glorious golden age. Given how far back it stretches in time, the history of the region -- and even of Iraq itself -- is too big a canvas for me to paint. Instead, what I hope to do in this book is take on the nonetheless ambitious task of sharing with you a remarkable story; one of an age in which great geniuses pushed the frontiers of knowledge to such an extent that their work shaped civilizations to this day.